Wesley College’s Assistant Director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiatives, Dr. Kevin Shuman, highlighted Wesley’s growing Cannon Scholar program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. that took place from February 16-20. His poster presentation was entitled, “Encouraging Retention, Persistence, and Graduation in the Wesley Cannon Scholar (NSF S-STEM) Program.”
In first two years of the Cannon Scholar program (AY2014-2015 and AY2015-2016), total of 31 and 35 students were enrolled, respectively. Of those students, 48.4% and 51.4% of the Cannon Scholars were students from populations underrepresented in STEM fields. The retention rate for those students was 93.5% and 91.4% were retained in the following year including those that graduated.
“Even though participation in mentored undergraduate research is not a Cannon Scholar requirement, more than 80% of the participants choose to complete mentored research projects,” according to Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research Malcolm D’Souza. “That experience is having a positive outcome on student success.”
The Cannon Scholar program is designed to recruit and retain academically talented students in biological chemistry, biology, environmental science and mathematics, and are in need of financial aid. To receive an annual scholarship for four years, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, demonstrate financial need, maintain an annual cumulative GPA of 2.7 and remain a STEM major. It is recommended that an applicant’s SAT score be at least 1160 out of 1600.
Travel support was provided through the Delaware INBRE (IDeA Networkof Biomedical Research Excellence) program funded by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences – NIGMS of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the State of Delaware DEDO (Delaware Economic Development Office) program under grant number P20 GM103446.